Sitting in my friend’s cushy condo in downtown Toronto, trying to wrap my head around flying to London a week from Thursday and going on faith for the next year. Touring with my show, Mary’s Joy, going where they send me. “They” being The Leaveners, my tour coordinators and the only Quaker arts organization in the UK.
Meanwhile. I’m divorced. Again. Five times married and never a bridesmaid. Never. I’ve sung in a million weddings, but have never been asked to stand up with anyone when they tied the connubial knot. Not once.
I had the prettiest wedding you ever saw, in 1976, when I was a baby bride. He wore a morning coat and tails and I carried gardenias and the whole thing smelled of White Shoulders and Aramis. I had a slew of bridesmaids and my maid of honor, Bridget, cried just as I was about to head down the aisle, and said, “I don’t want you to get married, Jeanie.”
My close friends and family call me Jeanie. My mother named me Jeannemarie, after a French ballerina. I changed it when computer forms cut it off, since I didn’t like being called Jeannemar. So I’m Jeanmarie now, the five times bride, never bridesmaid gypsy who hits the road a week from Thursday, like Johnny Appleseed scattering sweet kernels of joy hither and yon.
Johnny Appleseed actually gave to communities the ability to make hard cider and, thus, not be poisoned by rampant bad water. It has recently occurred to me that everyone was probably a little sloshed all the time, back in olden days.
More on that next time….